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Tata Power launches thermal storage to cut peak demand

According to reports, Tata Power has launched a ‘thermal energy storage incentive programme’ for consumers to lower peak demand of electricity on its Mumbai distribution network.

Thermal energy storage promotes energy efficiency by shifting load from peak hours to off-peak hours, using viable and proven technologies.

Under the storage system, the central air-conditioning plants used by large establishments such as hotels, malls and commercial buildings, run at night when the power load is low and convert water to ice. During daytime, the building is cooled by the energy stored in ice with the chillers of the air-conditioning plants switched off.

Tata Power said it achieved a load shift of over 3.6 million units from peak to off-peak hours. The company has enrolled a thermal storage capacity of over 15,000 hours.

Consumers participating in the programme include Hotel Meluha and Supreme IT Park. They have installed the technology on their premises and optimised their electricity bills due to reduced charges. Tata Power also provides online metering systems for the consumer’s chiller plants and computes the load shift due to thermal storage.

Tariff changes according to category of consumers. While the base tariff is constant throughout the day, there is time of day (ToD) penalty and incentive structure. There is a penalty of ₹1 a unit for usage during peak hours and incentive of ₹0.75 for energy used in night or off-peak hours.

S Padmanabhan, Executive Director, Operations, Tata Power, said, “Our ‘thermal energy storage incentive programme’ will not only support our consumers to bring down the peak power requirements, but will also offer monetary benefit on each unit of electricity shifted from peak hour to off-peak hour as an incentive.”

Mumbai’s peak power load (during the day) is over 3,400 MW in summer, while the off-peak load drops to almost one third. The shift also helps electricity distribution companies in power procurement, as the demand does not fluctuate drastically.

Tata Power has exchange programmes running on split air-conditioners and energy-efficient refrigerators for its consumers, who can avail themselves of these at a discounted price online.

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